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Calls to Action

NAAR Volunteers Ask Legislators to Increase Federal Support for Autism Research at NIH & CDC

More than 60 volunteers and staff from the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) kicked off National Autism Awareness Month by meeting with their legislators on Capitol Hill recently, to ask for their support in increasing federal support for autism research in the Fiscal Year 2004.

Volunteers traveled from all across the country to participate in NAAR's first "Hill Visit," which took place Tuesday, April 1, and urged their elected officials in Washington to support increased investments for autism research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Specifically, NAAR volunteers asked their legislators to support language that calls on the NIH to expand basic and applied research portfolios, to coordinate and finance a tissue bank and to work more closely with the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee to develop, implement and fund autism research. NAAR volunteers also asked their legislators to support an additional $7 million to expand the CDC's autism epidemiology program.

In addition, NAAR volunteers explained the critical role that research plays in the quest to unlock the mysteries of autism and asked their legislators to join the Congressional Autism Caucus.

NAAR is grateful for all volunteers who invested their time to take part in this important initiative and to all legislators and their staff that met with NAAR volunteers to discuss autism and the importance of advancing research at the NIH and CDC.

Here is a list of NAAR volunteers that took part in the Hill Visits and the legislators who were visited:Colorado
NAAR volunteer Matt McGarrity met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Ben Campbell (R)
Senator Wayne Allard (R)
Rep. Diane DeGette (R)

Connecticut
NAAR volunteers Linda Talbert and Debbie Marchese and staff member Arnold Kragen met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Chris Dodd (D)
Senator Joe Lieberman (D)

Florida
NAAR volunteers Willy Benninghoff, Julie Guzy, Grace Rodriguez, Sharon Boyd, Elizabeth Boyd and Jean Reese and staff member Jaclyn Merens met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Bob Graham (D)
Senator Bill Nelson (D)
Rep. Robert Wexler (D)
Rep. Porter Gross (R)
Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R)
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R)

Georgia
NAAR volunteers Lori Crow and Katie Cantrell met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Zell Miller (D)
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R)
Rep. John Linder (R)
Rep. Johnny Isakson (R)

Iowa
NAAR volunteer Freda Owens met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Chuck Grassley (R)
Rep. Leonard Boswell (D)

Maryland
NAAR volunteers Wayne Brown, LaVerne Byrd, Lennie Gladstone, Lori Kaufman, Joanne Kyros and Prisca Marvin met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Jr. (D)
Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R)

Massachusetts
NAAR volunteers Anthony & Margie Pascetta, Lynn Dwyer, Martie Kane, Sammi Robertson, Holly Santos, Marcy Wenning and Lisa Kearney and staff Debra Lary and Janet Freed met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Ted Kennedy (D)
Senator John Kerry (D)
Rep. Richard Neal (D)
Rep. John Olver (D)
Rep. William Delahunt (D)
Rep. Jim McGovern (D)
Rep. Ed Markey (D)

Missouri
NAAR volunteers Colleen Dolnick, Kelly Foehrkolb and Jamie Spies met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Jim Talent (R)
Senator Kit Bond (R)
Rep. Todd Akin (R)
Rep. Dick Gephardt (D)
Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D)

New Jersey
NAAR volunteers Jim Brady, Farnk & Nancy D'Amico, Laura Kunz, Todd & Debbie Schmidt, and staff Dina Schwab and Joe Guzzardo met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Jon Corzine (D)
Senator Frank Lautenburg (D)
Rep. Chris Smith (R)
Rep. Rob Andrews (D)
Rep. Rush Holt (D)
Rep. Jim Saxon (R)

New York
NAAR volunteers May Lyn Andressen, Mitch & Barbara Hammer, Karen Cerise, Sharon Nagel, Monica Moshenko, Mark Krinsky, Suzanne Krull, Carlos Vaca, Margaret Donoghue and Pat Schissel and staff Al Ayan met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Chuck Schumer (D)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Rep. Steve Israel (D)
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D)
Rep. Amo Houghton (R)
Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R)
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D)
Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D)
Rep. Peter King (R)

Ohio
NAAR volunteers Tina Woskobunik and Ann Gibbons met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator George Voinovich (R)
Senator Mike DeWine (R)
Rep. Sherrod Brown (D)

Pennsylvania
NAAR volunteers Patti McCloud, Joe Galli and Marcy Hardinger and staff Sandra Gadzia met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Rick Santorum (R)
Senator Arlen Specter (R)
Rep. Bob Brady (D)
Rep. Melissa Hart (R)

South Carolina
NAAR volunteers Tim Newman and his daughter, Rebecca, met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Fritz Hollings (D)
Senator Lindsey Graham (R)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R)
Rep. John Spratt (D)

(from left) 2003 Delaware Valley Walk F.A.R. for NAAR co-chairs Frank and Nancy D'Amico with U.S. Representative Robert Andrews (D-NJ).

The New York delegation from NAAR visited with ten different legislators and their staff.

(from left) U.S. Representative Thomas Reynolds (R-NY) with 2003 Buffalo/Niagra Walk F.A.R. for NAAR co-chair Monica Moshenko.

(from left) NAAR Trustee Ann Gibbons, Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), and Tina Woskobunik, chair of 2003 Ohio Walk F.A.R. for NAAR, at the Senator's office in Washington.

U.S. Representative John Spratt (D-S.C.) with Rebecca Newman and her father, 2003 Carolina Walk F.A.R. for NAAR co-chair Tim Newman.

Rep. David Price (D)
Rep. Robin Hayes (R)

Washington
NAAR volunteers Barri Rind and Lorie Thomas and staff Anna Shaffer met with the following officials and/or their legislative staff:
Senator Maria Cantwell (D)
Senator Patty Murray (D)
Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R)